Comparison of Surgical and Non Surgical Hair Replacement Options

As the name indicates, hair replacement refers to methods and techniques used to help people regrow hair in the thinning or bald areas. It includes both surgical and non-surgical ways of hair restoration. Hair loss patients now have numerous options available to enjoy their previous, youthful looks by opting for any of the following three methods:


  • Hairpieces
  • Medicines
  • Hair transplant

Here is a comparison of surgical and non surgical hair replacement options listed above to help you select the procedure that is best for you.

Hair Pieces

Wigs have long been used by balding men and women to cover their barren thatches. But with advancements in technology, now there are hairpieces available to cover only the bald patches. You can also place an order for a customized hairpiece that resembles your hair color and texture. Toupees and hair weaves are also often used to hide baldness and add volume as well as length to existing hairs.

Advantages of Hairpieces:

  • It is a virtually non-surgical, non-invasive method
  • It allows you to experiment with new hair styles
  • It is quite inexpensive in the short run

Disadvantages of Hairpieces:

  • Most of the times you need professional assistance to wear remove hairpieces
  • They need regular care and maintenance and may harm your existing hair
  • They offer a temporary solution and you are always at a risk of being exposed


If you do not want to only cover your bald thatch but wish to grow natural hair in the bare areas, medicines may be helpful. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved numerous medicines for hair loss control, with Minoxidil and Finasteride being two most commonly used medicines. They work by decreasing DHT levels in blood and stimulating damaged hair follicles.

Advantages of Medicines:

  • Like hairpieces, medicines also offer a non-surgical solution to hair loss
  • They offer a simple and easy solution, which involves simply spraying your scalp or taking an oral pill
  • Unlike hairpieces, medicines give you natural hairs

Disadvantages of Medicines:

  • They offer a temporary solution and hair loss returns as soon as you cease the treatment
  • Success rate can vary significantly from one person to another
  • They have some serious side effects. For example, Finasteride can cause prostate cancer and male breast cancer in men, while women can suffer from childbirth defects
  • Common side effects of Minoxidil include skin sensitivity – irritation, redness and itchiness in treated areas. Some serious complications include allergic reactions, dizziness and chest congestion

Hair Transplant

Hair transplant is by far the most effective and probably the only treatment that gives permanent hairs. The technique involves extracting DHT-resistant hair follicles from one area of the scalp (the donor area) and planting them in the areas with hair thinning or baldness (recipient area). A hair transplant does not help you grow new hairs; it instead redistributes the existing hair on the head to add a fuller appearance.

Advantages of Hair Transplant

  • Only a single surgery is enough to deliver lifetime relief
  • It gives you permanent and most natural looking hair that does not fall off under the effect of Dihydrotestosterone. They will shed like normal hair but new shafts will sprout from the same follicle
  • It is a simple and minimally invasive surgery that involves minimum intervention on your body tissues
  • Transplanted hairs do not need any special care and maintenance for their existence

Disadvantages of Hair Transplant

  • It is a surgical procedure, therefore expect some surgery related side effects such as swelling, itching, bleeding and scarring.
  • Transplanted hairs as well as the existing healthy hair in the surroundings may fall off after the surgery – shock loss. But they grow back soon.
  • Getting the surgery done by inexperienced surgeon can prove to be a total failure.

Bottom Line:

Out of all the surgical and non-surgical hair replacement options stated above, hair transplant surgery is the most appreciated and admired procedure.


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